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How to Improve Marketing Qualified Lead Routing (MQL) Results


— April 26, 2021

Boost your lead generation revenues without any extra investment by enhancing your process of routing leads.


First things first, you may have a question looking at the title. What is lead routing? If not, well and good. But if you are a newbie to this and curious about learning what lead routing is and how we can improve MQL routing, then here we go. I explain to you A-Z about this topic in detail further.

Let us understand what lead routing is

In layman’s language, lead routing is a process that involves the distribution of leads among the sales representatives.

It is an automated process where the CRM software distributes the leads to salespeople on the criteria-basis of zip code, lead score, the product of interest, availability of the sales representative, or any other measure relevant to the business.

“A faster lead routing sets up a quicker follow-up, ultimately developing a better relationship between the brand’s representative and the lead!”

What is Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)?

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) can be defined as a lead that has shown interest in a brand’s offers or services based on their marketing efforts. An MQL is otherwise said to be a lead who is more likely to become a customer than remaining a lead.

Now, as we know what is lead routing and an MQL are, let us comprehend the term MQL routing.

Here’s a bonus tip – Know your B2B leads: SQLs, IQLs, MQLs.

What is MQL routing?

It is as simple as the name suggests. It is the process of distributing qualified marketing leads among the sales representatives.

With an efficient and effective lead routing system, you can ensure that the leads are distributed equally among your sales reps. This also ensures that none of your sales reps is over-burdened, and the leads are tracked timely. We have also mentioned some of the benefits of MQL routing:

  • Increase productivity
  • Increased lead velocity rate
  • Improved utilization of resources
  • Happy and satisfied customers lead to improved ratings
  • Employee morale
  • Lead management team
  • Close-win rates increase
  • Easier processes for sales team members and customers
  • Increase in revenue and company bonuses

To achieve these benefits efficiently, you should improve your MQL routing. How?

– Establish a service level agreement on lead routing with sales

Check if you have the mentioned things documented by your sales teams.

1) Written criteria for lead routing

2) Sales time-to-follow-up expectations

3) Management support to help

4) A clear and clean process flow from the beginning to closing a deal

If your sales reps’ answer is a NO or you need help in figuring out the mentioned things, then keep reading through to learn how you can increase your lead-flow opportunities by 200%.

1) Develop a clear definition for lead and make your team understand and stick to it. Ensure you stay on the same page with them in this and watch your sales hike up its numbers.

2) Qualify all the leads within the team and distribute them among the sales reps.

3) Use a checklist to update territories to keep track of the changes.

4) Routed leads with automated guidelines. The flow of operations alerts the salesperson and creates a task with a deadline.

5) Initiate a rule, if a qualified lead is not opened by the assigned sales representative within the timeline of 24 hours, they receive a reminder message from their immediate supervisor. And in case a sales lead crosses the timeline of 48 hours, they receive a call to check if that contact needs to be re-assigned or the rep needs any help.

6) The entire process needs some time to plan and execute collaboratively with the sales team. With this methodology, you have a maximum opportunity of 200% more lead conversion.

– Verify that people want to talk to the sales rep before routing

Time is a crucial factor to succeed in any deed. Utilize the time of your potential customer and your sales representatives. Assume a situation where your audience downloads some of your content available on your website that is accessible. Does that mean the audience is the sales rep’s call-ready? No, not yet.

The fundamental to lead routing is to match the lead’s preparedness with your sales team’s expectations. It’s an important step to have an efficient start.

This is the first and foremost step to qualify each lead to check if they are sales-ready! Here, sales-ready can be taken as the person is ready to talk to a salesperson. To check if your lead is sales-ready, you can use lead scoring and lead qualification.

– Furnish tools your reps can use to follow-up after the handoff

Be clear when the lead gets passed on to the sales from marketing. Also, be careful while handling the transition as it can hurt the relationship.

Besides, salespeople often struggle with their follow-up approach. In many cases, with salespeople and sales processes, it is common to hear the term ‘stuck point.’ Sales reps frequently face a question, how to advance the lead when there isn’t any immediate need. This makes the salespeople stuck with what else they could talk about to their leads.

Without a clear input, salespeople can go in for boring and irrelevant messages. It is always suggested to help your sales reps spend their time connecting and selling rather than building messaging and marketing content. This could save them time to invest in their sales processes.

You may help them create a few emails and some areas of discussion to help them connect with the leads based on their interest. Additionally, you may help them providing messaging content for better engagement.

– Organize appointments for the sales team and cut ‘telephone time.’

Three ways you can test to optimize your lead routing for more sales:

Person writing, with cellphone and coffee nearby; image by Kaleidico, via Unsplash.com.
Person writing, with cellphone and coffee nearby; image by Kaleidico, via Unsplash.com.

A. Distribute leads based on sales skill

Opt for lead grading to rank the level of expertise leads based on their need. General inquiries can go to the inside salespeople and save the field sales reps for those who do not want to talk to them. Ensure you sort your leads based on the expected needs or interest and route them without any delay.

B. Send leads to reps by product or industry expertise

The more you understand your sales reps, the more you can match with leads and increase the probability of winning. And that is the reason round-robin lead distribution is a powerful combination.

C. Route based on the location

If your field team is primarily distributed, you would be likely to route your leads via territories or regions. At the same time, the smaller groups and inside teams can use local lead routing as well. This way, you can help your sales team make local connections, too.

– Track and measure sales follow-up

Check if your routing supports the real-time tracking and reporting of every marketing-generated lead. You can maintain your monitoring system to measure lead routing in the following steps:

  • Stage of the sales pipeline
  • Industry vertical and initial interest
  • Salesperson responsiveness
  • Territory performance
  • A marketing campaign or lead source
  • Lead scoring and grading
  • Forecasted revenue and time-to-close

– Use a checklist to make sure no leads get lost or missed

Checklists can enhance your performance and help you achieve more consistent results.

Here are the eight essential reasons to use checklists in your business.

Improve your lead routing by focusing on the mentioned steps:

  • Acquire buy-in from the sales team on your sales-ready lead definition
  • Offer qualification information for each sales lead
  • Concentrate on the lead qualification process with a clear lead definition (as mentioned in the early paragraphs of the article)
  • File the lead handoff process and accountabilities at each stage
  • Do it quickly! Qualify and distribute the sales-ready leads in a timely manner
  • Hand over the lead handoff to salespeople using automated rules and human oversight
  • Measure sales pursuit on leads
  • Sales management must also audit and track the sales rep follow-up
  • Close the loop on marketing-generated leads
  • Educate and train your salespeople on how to follow-up and give you feedback
  • Acquire close-loop feedback from the sales team on leads
  • Share the best practice lead generation follow-up across the sales team

Final Thoughts

Boost your lead generation revenues without any extra investment by enhancing your process of routing leads. The best and exciting part of implementing the mentioned tips is achieving better MQL routing without spending more budget. And the results are compelling and profit-yielding!

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